Letters to the Editor

08/19 – What you’re saying: Leslie Loeffler, Larry Bumgardner and Joe Moran

Monuments to hate

When the comfort and safety of any American is threatened by another American, law enforcement steps in. The fact that Silent Sam is allowed to stand, quietly threatening African Americans year after year, for centuries, is shocking!

Simply the presence of this vile statue is enough to remind some racists that the status quo is in place, and they better protect it. For African Americans it is a reminder that no matter how successful they are, they still exist by the grace of a bronze statue in confederate uniform, and that existence hinges on the whim of racists, Nazis and other hate groups. We saw on Saturday that when the patience of these cold-hearted monsters wears thin, people do indeed get hurt. When they are given permission to act out their most hate filled fantasies by the commander in chief, people even die.

Monuments to hate can not improve or enrich us in anyway. There is no place on our tiny planet where this monument and the ideas it represents, can be exhibited without it creating pain for some. It should be melted down, sold for scrap, and the money used to pay for tuition for needy students of color.

Leslie Loeffler

Chapel Hill

A very racist society

It is time to spend some money in America to make our constitution mean what it says. We need more courts, we need more judges, we need more public defenders for the poor.

We are willing to spend up to $60,000 to lock up a person who cannot afford bail while he awaits a “speedy trial.” Because of lack of legal representation or courts for a trial, only 5 percent of those charged actually go to trial. Many take a plea just to get out. And why would our system of justice be OK with a 3-year sentence from a plea vs a 10-year sentence if you are convicted at trial?

None of this makes sense and none of this comes close to our Constitution’s claim for a speedy trial or effective legal representation.

The police don’t look for drugs at Duke University or in my neighborhood but they do in the projects. You would think that drug use and sales only happen in the poor areas, but you would be wrong. The police want to keep their jobs and get easy convictions,

The bottom line is the realization that we are a very racist society and may not realize it. And we certainly discriminate against the poor. It also produces a racist jury who would believe the words of some defenders and not others.

One happy thing about Donald Trump is he is bringing this out for all of us to see.

Larry Bumgardner

Durham

More than just naïve

It is a grievous mistake to pretend that what happened in Charlottesville this past weekend was equally the fault of both the military-clad, facist extremists, and of the counter-protesters who came out to say that this kind of prejudice would not be tolerated and was not welcome in their city.

To characterize this nationally organized gathering of despicable racists as a group of lawfully assembled citizens exercising their right to “free speech” is more than just naïve. It ignores our abysmal national track record on racism and signals support for behavior that is reprehensible.

When confronted with evil – and racism is surely that – we act with cowardliness if we hesitate in the least to call it out for what it is.

Thus it was that when I woke up this past Sunday morning I had this image in my mind of every religious leader in the country standing up before his or her congregation and forcefully condemning this residual Neo-Nazi ugliness.

If it should come to pass that this did not happen in the vast majority of our worshiping congregations, then I fear that our beloved America is in for a very trying and turbulent time.

Joe Moran

Durham

What you’re saying

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